After getting swept in a three game series against Coastal Carolina and a midweek victory against Delaware, Maryland baseball will stay at home to face Bryant in its upcoming series.
The Terps (7-4) were able to pull out a 13-6 victory against Delaware Wednesday evening, recovering from a sweep in which Maryland scored just five runs all series.
However, the Terps’ bats didn’t stay quiet for too long, after Maryland brought in six runs within the first three innings against Delaware. Junior outfielder Chris Alleyne led the way for the Terps offensively on the day, going 4-for-6 from the plate.
“I’m feeling good, just trying to trust my process,” Alleyne said. “And guys like Randy (Bednar) and Tucker (Flint), and the guys behind me, drive me and do their job. So everyone has a job and we’re just trying to do it. I think we’re doing a pretty good job.”
Sophomore infielder Ben Cowles also found success at the plate for the Terps on Wednesday, going 2-for-2 with a career-high five RBIs. Junior outfielder Randy Bednar had three hits of his own and an RBI as well.
Friday’s game is scheduled to start at 4 p.m., Saturday’s first pitch is at 2 p.m. and Sunday’s finale will begin at 1 p.m.
Bryant University (2-8)
2019 record: 40-20 (19-5 Northeast)
Head Coach Ryan Klosterman has struggled in his first full season as the head coach of Bryant after being brought over from the University of Central Florida. After the team had a successful 2019, the Bulldogs have come back down to earth, losing eight of their first 10 contests in 2020. Despite the rough start the new season, don’t be surprised if Bryant is able to right the ship sooner rather than later.
Hitters to know
Senior outfielder James Ciliento is easily one of the most efficient hitters on this Bryant roster. The senior leads the team in batting average (.314), RBIs (7), slugging percentage (.543) and on-base percentage (.429). The Terps are going to have to pitch well to Ciliento all series long.
The star outfielder accumulated six hits in Bryant’s last series against Virginia Tech, and he’ll look to continue his offensive success against Maryland come the weekend.
Junior outfielder Shane Kelly is another offensive weapon for Bryant, and he doesn’t trail Ciliento by much statistically. Kelly is tied with Ciliento for the team with 11 total hits. But the junior has struggled recently, going just a combined 2-for-10 in his last three games.
Kelly still has a .297 batting average, good enough for second on the team behind Ciliento. The outfielder will look to get back on track against Maryland, which has had issues with pitching outside of redshirt freshman Sean Burke as of late.
Sophomore infielder Jake Gustin can produce offensively for this Bryant team that really lacks hitting depth. Gustin’s batting average (.194) may not be too inspiring, but the speedy infielder impacts the game in other important ways. The sophomore is second on the team in stolen bases with five and is also tied for first on the Bulldogs with four walks in 2020.
Redshirt catcher Tavan Shahidi will be forced to keep an eye out for the elusive Gustin during the entire series, due to the sophomore’s speed threat every time he reaches base.
Pitchers to know
Junior pitcher Tyler Mattison certainly hasn’t started the 2020 season the way he’s wanted to. The right-handed pitcher has tossed the most innings for Bryant with 15.0 total, but has a mediocre 6.00 ERA to show for it. Mattison is 0-2 on the season and has given up 17 hits and 10 earned runs in just three appearances.
Despite the pitching woes, Mattison has more to prove and will most likely get a start against the Terps. It’ll be interesting to see how long of a leash head coach Klosterman allows Mattison if he begins to struggle against Maryland.
Junior pitcher Tyler Schoff is in a similar boat with fellow junior Mattison. Schoff has struggled out of the gates in 2020, accumulating 13.2 innings pitched with a 7.90 ERA and 14 hits allowed. Schoff has also surrendered a team-worst 12 walks, which hasn’t helped his situation with runners in scoring position.
Schoff’s last start was in a loss to Virginia Tech, in which he let up four hits and four earned runs in 4.0 innings of work. He’ll have to improve his pitching against the Terps for Bryant to begin to turn its season around.
Redshirt freshman pitcher Luke Garofalo is one of the brighter spots on the Bryant pitching staff. Garofalo is 1-0 on the season and has been a reliable relief pitcher in his first two appearances. The right-hander has pitched a total of 4.1 innings and allowed just five hits. More notably, Garofalo has yet to concede a run and also has three strikeouts to show for it.
It would not be surprising to see Garofalo receive more work against the Terps, as his first two outings proved that he could be more than just a relief pitcher in the near future.
The Bulldogs have been battle tested on the road. In the first 10 games of the new season, Bryant has played zero baseball on its home turf. Two of its wins, coming against Georgia State, both came on the road. This Bulldogs team certainly has been used to competing on the road and that should give it an advantage.
Offensive production. It’s clear that Bryant has struggled to bring in runs this season. The most that this team has scored in 2020 in a single game? Five runs. In comparison, the Terps have scored five or more runs in over half of their 11 total games.
Three things to know
1. Key players remain sidelined for the Terps. Junior catcher Justin Vought and junior infielder Tommy Gardiner went down with injuries recently and will be absent from the Bryant series. In their place, Shahidi and freshman infielder Matt Orlando will be taking most of the starting reps.
“The biggest thing is everyone just stays within themselves,” Orlando said. “It doesn’t really matter what grade you are, the starting lineup is the starting lineup.”
Gardiner is currently third on the roster with a .350 batting average and Vought was the clear-cut starting catcher for this Terps squad.
“Obviously we need those guys for conference play,” head coach Rob Vaughn said. “So we’re not going to necessarily rush them back until they’re ready to go.”
2. Costes is staying hot at the plate. Sophomore infielder Maxwell Costes has been a force at the plate for the Terps as of late. The reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Year is leading the team with a .400 batting average, six home runs and a .686 slugging percentage. There are no signs of a sophomore slump coming for Costes as he looks to continue his offensive dominance against Bryant.
3. Burke is pitching like an ace for Maryland. Redshirt freshman Sean Burke (1-0) is dealing right now for the Terps. The right-handed pitcher has allowed just 10 hits in three starts this season and has maintained an eye-opening 1.62 ERA. The 6’6 pitcher has given up just three earned runs and made 24 opposing batters strikeout in 16.2 innings of work — the most innings pitched by any Terp this season.
“Sean Burke was tremendous,” Vaughn said after Burke threw for 6.0 innings and let up just two earned runs against Coastal Carolina. “He has three straight starts for him that were really really good. Very simple. He threw the ball great.”